The Spice Girls hit New England

Before the ridicule begins, let me start off by saying that the Spice Girls have been my favorite pop group ever since they began. A young gay man, such as myself, needs something fun and energetic to get his pulse racing and those five cheeky ladies did it for me.

Their reunion tour was announced in 2007. All five of the original “girls” we set to return to the stage together. Ten years I had waited to see all five of them singing the songs that transformed my youth. I was living in Boston at the time, and they had already set the date for it. Tickets had already been on sale for 2 weeks, but I was sure I would be able to get some. I was able to get 2, unfortunately, they were not the best seats in the house, as I had hoped for, however, I was going to get to see them, and that’s what counted.

As the weeks passed, I grew more excited about the show. Finally the big day was approaching. I kept reading all of the news articles about them coming to Boston and about their sold out performance.  I still had my credentials from when I was a flight attendant, my badges, etc. Also, thanks to celebrity news, I knew the Spice Girl’s flight would be landing that evening in Boston. I had to be at the airport, just if by chance I would be able to see them up close. I attired myself in my flight attendants uniform, very unflattering and boxy. I clipped on my badge and headed for Boston-Logan. The flight wasn’t set to arrive until later in the evening, which was fine with me, less hassle and crowds at the airport to fight through. Flight attendants don’t have to wait in security lines, we just flash our badges and cut to the front. I was in, now I had to find the gate where the plane would be landing. I spoke to a few other flight attendants who directed me to where the plane would be coming in. One of the gate agents warned me that they had been informed the Spice Girls wouldn’t be entering the airport, they would be picked up by SUV’s on the tarmac. I thanked her for the information, and waited. I couldn’t go out on the tarmac, as I would probably get arrested, so I quietly stood, looking out the large glass pane waiting to see my childhood heroines arrive.

The plane had arrived, it was beautiful. I could feel the energy and was so excited to see these women. Finally it happened, the Spice Girls, along with about 20 personal assistance and nannies all came off of the place. As predicted, the line of black SUV’s pulled up and they loaded in to them fast and quietly. In all of 20 seconds time they had gotten off the plane and into their vehicles. It was done. I quickly glanced around, I was the only person looking out the window. No one else knew and/or cared that the Spice Girls had just landed. Let me just throw this in now that I am not a stalker, I just wanted to see them up close. I was very satisfied that I was able to experience such an exciting moment, and that I was the only one. This was one of those moments that only I got to witness.

My boyfriend at the time, was unable to make it to the concert for some reason I don’t even remember to this day. That actually was good news for me, because my best friend and secret love of my life, Cello, was able to go with me.(The Cello story will come in another post.)

The day of the concert came, I was so nervous and excited. The plan was to meet Cello after work at the gay bar downtown, with easy access to the subway to head to the concert. The hours in the office just seemed to drag on. I was singing Spice Girl songs the entire day, until my coworkers asked me to keep it down, then I quietly hummed the songs. Lucky for me, they were all very excited for me too, so they didn’t mind.

I met Cello at the bar, and we had a few cocktails. Coincidentally enough we met a few guys we knew from the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (An amazing organization) there, so we had a few more cocktails with them as well. Finally it was just an hour before the show was set to begin. Me being the punctual person that I am (some might argue anal), paid the tab and grabbed Cello by them arm. We kissed our friends goodbye and headed for the subway.

Walking up to the stadium, a feeling of awe takes over and I feel like a million bucks…although the drinks could have played a bit into that feeling. Cello and I find our seats, which were not the best, but definitely not the worst. Surrounded by 14-year-old girls and gay men ranging in age from 18 to 45. I was shocked by the number of young girls as they couldn’t have been old enough to listen/remember to the Spice Girls songs, but perhaps their parents turned them on to them.

The lights dimmed and the music began…my life was about to be changed forever. The smile on my face grew larger ever millisecond, this was it!

An hour and a half went by, the music, the dances, the costumes, it was orgasmic for me. I think Cello might have been a little freaked out by how intensely I was enjoying the show, but he being just as big a fan of Kelly Clarkson, totally understood it. I knew the last song of the night, as I had done my research in to their set list, grabbed Cello and screamed in his ear (It was super loud in the arena) “Let’s hit the merch stands before everyone else.”

We made our way to the merchandise stand with posters,CD’s, t-shirts, etc etc. I only spent about $45, which is conservatively low if you saw all they had to offer. We heard a loud eruption from inside and knew they show had just ended. Cello and I made our way outside to flag down a cab and head home.

It was an incredible night, a fantastic show and such an amazing experience for me. Not being able to see the Spice Girls as a whole in my youth (Geri Halliwell left the group before the north American tour began), this had helped with closure for me.

About a week after the Boston show, I was browsing online and found an ad for tickets to see the Spice Girls final show in the United States. The show was going to be in Hartford CT, and these were front row tickets. Hartford CT had never appealed to me, as a friend and I had done a road trip through the years before, and we were not impressed at all with it. I read the advert again, “FRONT ROW” how could I say no. I called the gentleman up and spoke to him. We planned on meeting at a coffee shop for the sale.

At the coffee shop he was sitting down at his computer and we talked a bit. He informed me that he had bought the tickets as a gift for a friend, but the friend already saw the Girls in Boston. He gave me the tickets to look at, then he pulled up the seating chart of the arena in Hartford on his laptop. The tickets were front row…my heart was beating so fast. I tried to hold back my smile and excitement, as I didn’t want this guy to try to jump up the price. The ad said $200, but I wasn’t in the mood for any games, and I think he was worried he wouldn’t be able to sell them as the concert was in 1 day. I asked him how much he wanted, he said $200, total….thank god. So I pulled out my wallet, grabbed the two crisp one hundred-dollar bills I had just taken from the bank and handed them to him. As I still had the tickets on me, handing over the money seemed safe enough. I thanked him, very much, and held on to the tickets tighter than I had ever held on to anything, making sure not to wrinkle and bend an edge or corner.

As I walked out of the coffee shop I was excited but worried. I didn’t own a car, and there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground. My boyfriend a the time, Jerry, was able to go with me this time, and even asked his roommate to borrow her car to drive us there. She said yes, but Jerry was really concerned about driving in the snow. I wasn’t even paying attention to him, I just wanted to sit front row at the Spice Girls concert.

The snow continued to fall over the next 24 hours, so the roads were not plowed well at all. The toll roads in Massachusetts can be a real pain in the ass, and about an hour outside off Boston our car started to spin, we did a full 360 and were lucky enough to get back driving in a just a few seconds. Slowly, but surely we made it to Hartford. Aside from the car spinning that one time, the worst part had to be Jerry saying “We should turn back” every 15 minutes. I had been on so many road trips with my friend Victoria during hurricanes, highway closures, etc, this was not a turning back time for me. We arrived at the arena 2 hours before the show was going to begin(Like I said, I’m overly punctual). We hadn’t stopped to eat anything on the way, and we were both hungry. We parked the car and walked to a pizza shop across the street. Quickly inhaling my slice and soda, I was ready to get inside the venue. Jerry, still amazed at how fast I can eat, kept telling me to relax.

The arena staff made everyone wait outside up until 15 before the curtain was to go up. it was cold as sin and everyone outside wanted to get in to get comfortable, pee, grab a souvenir…but we were strong and waited.

The doors were opened and we stampeded in. The agent who swiped our tickets, said that we had the best seats in the house. I smiled at her and said “yes I know.” A seat usher took our tickets and walked us down to the front row. The stage was 4 feet away, I could reach out and touch it, aside from that pesky gate to keep people from doing that. As we sat down and made ourselves comfortable we noticed that all of the seats surrounding ours were completely empty. Nobody had been at all in our row. A security guard, whose job it is to stand at the corner of the stage, walked over to us and informed us that all of the Spice Girl’s children will be sitting in the seats on both sides of us. They will be ushered in once the lights go off. Along with the children, one handler per child will be with them, that’s why the entire row was reserved. The guard informed us that we are not allowed to take photos of or with the children. He said that if we do try it, our camera/cell phone will be taken away and we will be removed from the building, not allowed back it. Jerry and I looked at each other, both realizing the severity of this agreed without hesitation.

Finally the lights went out. The pre-music was playing and we saw the handlers and children walk in to our row. I was so nervous to even look over at them, I felt if I turned my head I would be tackled. Luckily though, the guard walked along in front of everyone in our row to make sure we were all ok, he even asked me and Jerry(I assume out of courtesy). The show went on, the Spice Girls took over the stage and a level of magic had filled the air. During the show, Victoria sang a solo of hers, and Brooklyn Beckham (her eldest child) leaned over his handler who was positioned between us and said “That’s my mom!” He raised his hand for a high-five, the handler saw the terror in my face and she nodded her head that it was ok to me, so I gave him a high-five.

I was on a high that entire night and for the week following, nothing could bring me down. I had got to experience something so amazing: sitting next to the Spice Kids, seeing the entire show up-close and all of the Spice Girls had made eye contact with me during the show at some point. I could not have been happier. I don’t expect everyone else to get from this what I did, but I enjoyed every bit of it!

 

 

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